Thanks to everyone who called, wrote, and let the administration know how they felt… Reply

You did it folks, you gave a “good swift kick in the butt” to the Region One administration, and some members of our Region One Board Of Education! So and now (according to tonight’s edition of The Lakeville Journal) a “special meeting of the BOE (budget and renaming of the Sci-Tech Center!) will be held March 28th. Guess it was not prudent for Pat and her cohorts to wait till the next regular BOE meeting! Thanks to all who let their voices be heard, and thanks for letting the administration know, WE ARE WATCHING AND WE DO CARE ABOUT OUR HIGH SCHOOL AND SCHOOL DISTRICT.

Phil Hart just does not get it….it was Pat who put the brakes on last meeting…no one else….and Phil Hart as Chairman let her do it. Reply

From The Litchfield County Times….

Mr. Hart said Wednesday that the accusations were groundless. “I got really awful phone calls yesterday,” he reported. “They see Pat Chamberlain as behind everything, but this is nonsense. There is universal agreement that the building will be named after Jack. Thinking there is some kind of sneaky attack on him is absolutely bizarre.”

He said it is common board practice to introduce something at one meeting and to act on it at the next when members have had a chance to reflect.


photo courtesy The Corner Report

Lawrence Van Valkenburgh to Principal Harnett on Scott Fellows Reply

ImageFebruary 23, 2012


Dear Principal Harnett,


Here is a copy of the two pages I handed out at the ABC Board meeting last week.  I never got to present it to them – as in – ask my questions, because they shut me down.


You are Scott Fellows boss.  I want to know if what these pages suggest is true. Does he deny that he is the person typing and being interviewed as Falls Village resident Aeron Watson?


I want to know because this is the person who was so abusive in the media to our dedicated volunteer and Board Member Gale Toensing. 


What I do know is that you are the man who is our most senior manager at our High School.  Pat and Diane are not.  The person we all are waiting to hear from is you. You without them. If Scott is Aeron, then what you do next will tell Region One who you really are.  Are you here as the leader who sets the bar and shows the students that they are worthy of honest teachers and high expectations?  Will you be the one who finally pushes back and tells them to get out of your school the way Dr Fitz did at our CornwallSchool?


Maybe now you understand how important the Pingpank Report is – and you will have respect for those that showed the best of them and gave testimony.  Are you the man of quality and integrity enough so that we will not need another Pingpank report?


I have gotten so many lovely calls of thanks this week from men and women who are seeing the video of the ABC meeting and are so happy someone is speaking for Gale.  It should be you getting those calls – not me.


Are you and your teachers being censored?  This is one of those important moments.  Show us who you are.






Lawrence N Van Valkenburgh






Lawrence Van Valkenburgh to Delores Perotti/Gary Brochu 1

Dear Board of Education Chairs in the Region 1 School District
These attachments for inclusion in the public record at the end of the meeting.  If my disablility with my lower left extremity is flaring up – I may not be able to attend.  Let me know if you need a call from my disablility advocate or from me.
Lawrence Van Valkenburgh
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Lawrence Van Valkenburgh <>
Date: Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 7:37 PM
Subject: When is the next ABC meeting?
Cc: Lawrence Van Valkenburgh <>,
Dear Delores,
The name Perotti means something to me.  I have always been proud of your family.  I come from a plumbing background and I am always so happy to see the plumbers.  Aside from that we do not know one another.  I was a plumber, fashion model, student of religion, politics, and finance, cooking, screenwriting, and social work.  I am so wealthy that I can afford to never have to lie (that plus the Catholic guilt thing and my mother is Italian).  And – I will not lie to you.
I am the guy who despite the long lasting side effects of chemo – climbed the stairs of CCS – and got to the place where I could 
help defend the woman who has become next in line to be bullied by Pat, Diane, and the typical gang they build which currently includes you. 
Last year I made the trip many times as they tried to ruin Susan Romeo for being too successful.  To quote Dr Fitz and Barbara Gold -(both women of God) –
“Susan is the best teacher in our school.” Susan Romeo is amazing, brilliant, honest. and one of the best teachers I have ever encountered, and she is a friend.  All of my friends meet that criteria.
I am not writing to insult you – yet I would not blame you if you took some of this personally.  As you witnessed last night, I say what I say directly to the person whenever possible.  The transcript of your January board meeting shows us that you prefer to deliver your hateful message behind your targets back.  When I read what you said at that meeting – I am terribly embarrassed for you.             It also reads like you rehearsed it in advance – it is not natural language.  You get your points out and you tried to hit the Pingpank report in the same way Pat and or Diane have gotten others to swipe at it.  Same words and delivered in an uninformed way that makes me (and many others) worried about your biased leadership.
For nine years I was a Board Member of the world’s first and largest AIDS Healthcare Agency.  I became the Vice Chairman.  I would leave my trading desk at Goldman, Sachs and help the most extraordinary and dedicated people assist the dying.  You could stay all night and work on a grant or a brief to help a mother who did recover from her fever and vomiting – to get back her children that were by now divided into the NYC family services dept – see if you can imagine yourself in that scenario.  Or I would stay in a suit at a party on Park Avenue practically begging for a thousand dollars for the Agency while over my shoulder on the wall there was hanging a twenty-five million dollar Rothko.  We spent every dollar we had every day, month, quarter because our clients were dying.  I have been off of that board for years but on the phone with them for hours even this past Sunday – because – I helped build it.  I won so much business for Goldman Sachs that if I won a deal I could have a Friday off to teach kindergarten at St Anne’s in the Bronx.  (The parish where I was born in the south Bronx).  The kids were so awesome and school still served the same food but the kids would mimic everything I did with my fork , manners, sloppy joe bun….hysterical. I speak French more than Spanish so we had our own language.  Through health crisis and reading to children born into addiction the most amazing thing I saw was the dedication and sacrifice of women.  I know what they do and can do – and I am humbled and in their debt.  When I know a woman is being abused – I make it stop.  When I see someone wasting our time in the board room like you do by not being objective at all times about Pat and Diane -( which means you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing) I find it infuriating.  Life, death, illness, education – help for which comes best from the boardroom.  I can not blame you for not having my experience but at least I can tell you:  Stop making friends and do the job right.
My hope for you is that you will rethink how and why you are where you are.  Your position is important and it seems that your standards are way too low.  If you like – you are welcome to come to Cream Hill and spend time with me.  I have a great deal to say about leadership.  The Pingpank report is something you will have to look at on your own.  Brilliant attorney, one of the Dioceses’ Attorneys I believe.  An extraordinary professional.  I watched him interview – and I was not allowed to speak.  I think it was fifty or so persons who gave testimony and risked retribution and their ability to feed their families so they could help improve the student’s environment and make work tolerable.  I do not know you.  Perhaps you do not know what that feels like.  I saw crying people going in and coming out.  I read a report that helped articulate the concern of a large number of employees – and gave them hope.  What risk did you take?      You said their testimony is nothing.     I am trying to figure out what makes you worthy of your position.  The one thing I really love about Catholicism is compassion.  Say that word a few times and then read the transcript of your meeting.
It looks like Gail was harassed by Scott Fellowes.  I will let other people prove that out.  Would you let that happen to your daughter?  If true –  he is like a digital Klu Klux Klan.  A biased, lying, woman hating bigot with no balls to reveal his identity and a healthy gang of bullies with power backing him up – people behaving like you actually.  I think Gail has been insulted enough.  I hope that your apology is appropriate and public.  Oh yes – Pat was saying “point of order” and shutting me down – not her role – that is your role – so take note and try to see what she is doing.  So wait – who was running the meeting – you or Pat?  Either way – still better than Becky.  Allegedly – Pat was shutting me down before I could remind you all of some of the stuff they got caught at like the petition that Diane Goncalves wrote against Susan Romeo and got other people to put their name on it to conceal the true author.  Well – those Diane loyalists had big mouths.  In any corporation – a boss creating a petition against their own subordinate would easily be a $25 million dollar lawsuit.  Plenty of lawyers want a crack at 30% of that.  The ABC committee did nothing to help.  Open your eyes and ears and help our students by being a real and independent leader.  I will help you if you ask.
Lawrence Van Valkenburgh
At least you and I use our own name. 
I have to add some cc’s since Pat cannot create a system that is not biased against certain peoples emails.  Do you really believe that those three emails did not get to their intended?  Really?  I do not believe Pat. 
From: Lawrence Van Valkenburgh <>
Date: Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Subject: Caution
Dear Delores,
I gave you a little bit of what some of us know of the things that Pat and Diane would not want you to know about.  Would you prefer that I send the
petition statement that I told you about in my last email to a larger group?  All ABC perhaps?  Becky knows about it.  It was stated in the public grievance of January 2011
here in Cornwall.  You can listen and view that on WHDD web site.  It was not stated in the minutes – I will get that corrected – the paperwork was scooped up
by Meuser so the Board would not see it again (allegedly) It was a board member who told us that it was scooped up.  I had to file an FOI complaint to get the paperwork back so the public can request it..  Not all of it came back though.  Pardon me if you know all of this – for you to put your reputation in Pat and Diane’s hands – they probably told you all of this.  I wonder what sort of a “spin” Pat and Diane put on it?
If I were you I would get it squared as to why Marie Wilbur allegedly told a few too many people that she knew her complaint would be denied but Pat and Diane insisted she file it just to put Gale in a bad news cycle.  I kept hearing that.  Once again – watch the spin – protect yourself. 
There is so much more.  Tell me who to include.
Be certain that you are not discussing a word of the legal bill discussion behind closed doors.  I will know and I will tell.  Pat said one person called in and suggested that the bill be paid by the individual.  If Pat knew about Scott Felloes, Diane writing the petition, the Wilbur thing and more – then she is going to be reimbursing alot of legal expenses out of her own personal checkbook.  I hope that doesn’t spill onto you for being so unaware.  (I assume you are innocent in this – we can all be lied to).  That is why I said you need a good Director’s and Officer’s policy.  You do not want to be liable if Pat and Diane are disingenuous.  There were probably some smart people that left that 7000 series language vague.  Vague can be good.  It leaves you with options.  My guess is that Pat does not want the 7000 series language changed – she just wants this conversation to drag out for as long as possible since it is about Gale – somewhat.  Please please try to see when you are being played like this. 
You can dislike me if you want – but I am giving you the best advice I can.
There are bcc’s attached for my own protection.
Lawrence Van Valkenburgh
From: Lawrence Van Valkenburgh <>
Date: Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Subject: You
To: “Brochu, Gary R.” <>
Dear Mr Brochu,
You have probably seen the two pages that I left with the Board Members that indicates that Scott Fellowes – Teacher and close friend of Pat and Diane – was the purchaser of the
Aeron Watson email address in 2001.  I left it to them to prove if it is true. Someone using that email address abused Gail Toensing terribly and non sensibly in the local media and only used that name.  Even reporters were sucked in. 
So – that is – if Scott admits it – a sample of what we go through.  The most sinister hidden lying and character/reputation assassination.  It is a bit of the “retribution” that Pingpank referred to.   It was as bad with Meuser in your role I think – but you don’t know about that.  We thought you represent the BOE because your title is “Board Attorney”.  You did not tell us in your presentation that you were also going to be Pat’s private attorney paid for by me and my neighbors.  Can you please explain that?  Why didn’t you protect the BOE from Aeron Watson?  Why did you throw your firm and Gale under the bus?  What makes you so sure that Gale’s emails were not ignored or erased by Pat?  Why wasn’t the server checked?  Was it someone who is paid by Pat or Diane?
What is it that you do?  I do not think any of us who paid for you are sure.  Does your boss know how you offered such a misled opinion of Gale without a remote check for the truth?  I am starting to think that you did not speak to
Gale.  You spoke to Gale – right?

Just look at Region One’s administration, and then read this story!!! Malloy said he’d like to ultimately see fewer school administrators. “We’re paying these folks beaucoup money,’’ he said. “I’ve looked at some of the salaries. You’ve got some superintendents of some very small districts making as much money as superintendents of big districts. Reply

From the Associated Press

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to encourage small Connecticut school districts to regionalize or else risk losing some state aid is raising concerns among some
local leaders who argue that their towns are being unfairly penalized for just being little.
The legislation, starting fiscal year 2016, cuts state education aid — ranging from about $100 to $500 per student — for school districts with fewer than 1,000 students
and per-student costs that are at least 10 percent higher than the statewide average.
Malloy’s revised $20 billion budget plan sets aside $300,000 to help the districts in the meantime come up with ideas for regional cooperation and efficiency.
The Democratic governor argues that his proposal is a common-sense approach to sharing expenses and reducing burdensome local property taxes, which help cover
the lion’s share of local education costs in many small towns. Officials maintain they’ve already considered regionalization and it doesn’t always make sense.
“School districts already have an incentive to look for ways to consolidate and reduce costs because their budgets are stretched thin,’’ said Betsy Gara, the public
policy director for the Connecticut Council of Small Towns. “To penalize them simply for being a small school doesn’t make sense.’’
Malloy’s proposal was tucked into his sweeping, 163-page public education overhaul bill unveiled last month. It has been largely overshadowed by more high-profile
aspects of the legislation, such as revamping state teacher tenure rules.
In an interview on Friday with The Associated Press, Malloy read off a list of towns across the state he has identified with small student populations and well-paid
school administrators. In Norfolk, for example, he said there are 160 students, grades K-6, complete with a superintendent, principal and school board. Malloy estimated it costs about $19,000 a year to educate each child. “Everyone’s complaining about property taxes and for a lot of the communities that we’re talking about, the biggest expense is education. And I’m trying to generate a discussion about this subject,’’ Malloy said. “What we’re saying is, we’ll give you money, we’re going to give you money to sit down and have some serious discussions about how you save taxpayers money.’’ Image
That’s just reality.’’According to Gian-Carl Casa, undersecretary for legislative affairs at the Office of Policy and Management, the governor’s budget office, there are currently 18 towns that have fewer than 1,000 pupils and spend over 110 percent of the average student expenditure. OPM’s list includes Bridgewater, Canaan, Chaplin, Cornwall, Goshen, Hampton, Kent, Lyme, Morris, Norfolk, North Canaan, Preston, Roxbury, Salisbury, Scotland, Sharon, Warren and Washington.

Was a Housatonic Valley Regional High School teacher suspended? Did the teacher then resign? Was a new teacher hired? Should not the board know at least about the events?! 2

Over the weekend, the regiononereport received information from several anonymous sources that a teacher, a Housatonic High School faculty member, had been suspended.  After some investigation, we found out the following: 1.  The teacher’s classes were covered by Dave Bayersdorfer. 2.  The teacher, who we will leave unnamed, had resigned.  3. A new teacher was hired as of Friday, March 9.

We do not recall hearing ANY of this at the last Region One Board of Education meeting:  not in a report from the Superintendent, not in a report from the Assistant Superintendent, not in a report from the high school Principal, not in a report from the Vice Principal.  Is this not information that should be given by some member of the administration in a report to the Board?

We checked with Region One Board Chair Phil Hart at 12:30 Sunday afternoon, March 18, who told us he has no knowledge of such events.

We confirmed with Dave Bayersdorfer that he did indeed get called in to substitute for a teacher in this time frame.

The more things change, the more they stay the same… Reply

from The Pingpank Report, December 2010

First . . . There will be continued problems if the faculty usurps the high school principal, if the central office usurps the high school administration,  or if the central office works in conjunction with selected members of the faculty to the exclusion of the high school administration.

Second, there will be continued problems if the faculty divisions are not healed or at least minimized. One would assume that the faculty, working with a new high school administration, can lessen those divisions. . .

Third, there needs to be less involvement by the central office in the daily life of the high school [which is exactly what Jack said at the August 16, 2010, meeting, which so offended the superintendent that she wrote that email kicking Jack and the 21st Century group out of the taxpayer-funded conference room].  . .

Fourth. . .Administrators should be aware that not everything that goes on in the central office needs to be kept confidential . . .

Fifth, there are concerns over intimidation by the central office. While the concern is not limited to the assistant superintendent, Ms. Goncalves is as much a lightening rod for opinion and controversy as was the [former] principal. She has been blunt. At times that bluntness has been excessive. Her manner at times can be intimidating and threatening. She should be counseled to moderate her behavior. The power of her office should allow her to give clear and direct guidance without the need for intimidation. There are clearly elements in the region that would like to see Ms. Goncalves leave. This can impair her effectiveness, much like her excessive bluntness has impaired her effectiveness. Whether she can be effective is a matter either for the Boards) to decide, or for time to tell.

In future actions, the central office needs to take care to ensure that the course of action chosen is a proper one, a proper method is used to achieve a proper result, and the proper and accurate justification for the action is given.

Sixth. . .It would be helpful if all could take actions that are in the best interest of the Regional School District, that they act with proper motives, and use proper methods.